Back in the day, 1972: Families fled homes as ground opened up

A workman points to a gaping hole in the back court of a building.
A workman points to a gaping hole in the back court of a building.

The Falkirk Herald reported: “Fifteen Falkirk families were settling in to their new homes this weekend after the emergency evacuation of a tenement block which was in danger of collapsing.

The day of drama began on Wednesday morning when a hole suddenly appeared in a back court to reveal a gaping cavity under the two-storey building at the corner of Thornhill Road and King Street, Falkirk.

The block was immediately declared dangerous by Burgh Engineer Graham McFarlane and the families were alerted to be ready to move out by 3.30pm.

The police were called in to contact householders who were out at work.

The council drafted in a convoy of lorries and vans along with a gang of workmen to ferry the families and their belongings to their temporary homes found for them by the housing department. Work on clearing the building went on as darkness fell.

The underground cavity was discovered by Assistant Burgh Engineer James Brown who had to jump clear as the ground crumbled. He was investigating cracks which had appeared in walls some days earlier”.